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Neighbors race to protect homes from rising water in Rice County

Minnesotans show up for each other in the face of majoring flooding
Minnesotans show up for each other in the face of majoring flooding 02:27

RICE COUNTY, Minn. — Rivers rose fast this weekend in Rice County, flooding neighborhoods in Morristown, Faribault, Warsaw and other small communities. 

In Warsaw, the owner of Channel Inn put out a call for help on Facebook, and within minutes, community members started showing up to help fill sandbags. 

"We're fine. It's the community we're here to support," Michelle Voegele said.

On Sunday alone, they filled more than 3,000 sandbags.

"In my 35 years out here I've never seen the water this high," Voegele said. 

Across the bridge nearby, Doc's Dock Campground is underwater, right ahead of the busy 4th of July weekend. 

"This is devastating to us," owner Lori Schultz said. 

The last few visitors canoed out to their campers to grab what they could.


"I have the best group of campers ever. And they are more supportive than I could hardly be for them today. Because I'm just devastated over what has happened to them," Schultz said. 

In Faribault, flooding has caused road closures around town. Many neighbors spent the weekend trying to keep their homes as dry as possible. 

"We spent all day dishing out water and throwing out furniture and ripping out carpet, but when you drive around and see what's around us, I feel very fortunate," Connie Drentlaw said.

She said she hasn't seen flooding like this in all her years living in Faribault. 

"Waterville, Morristown, Warsaw, it's pretty widespread, it's sad. But we'll get through it," she said. 

Rice County officials want people to stay out of the floodwaters and adhere to the road closures. Not only is the water moving very fast but it also could contain sewage, toxic chemicals and other sharp objects. 

Starting Monday morning at 7:30 a.m., residents can start dropping off flood-contaminated materials at the county's solid waste facility. 

The latest updates from county officials can be found by clicking here.

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